Covered California Ramps Up Enrollment Efforts Ahead of Today’s Deadlines

Covered California is ramping up efforts to enroll consumers ahead of the deadline for coverage that starts Jan. 1, 2016, KPCC’s “KPCC News” reports.

The deadline to enroll in coverage that will take effect Jan. 1, 2016, is Dec. 15. The Affordable Care Act’s third open enrollment period ends Jan. 31, 2016 (Aguilera, “KPCC News,” KPCC, 12/8).

Enrollment Details

According to Capital Public Radio’s “KXJZ News,” more than 83,000 new enrollees have signed up for coverage so far, and a surge of sign-ups is expected this week.

Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee said the exchange projects that between 260,000 and 500,000 people will sign up for coverage by the end of the enrollment period. He added that officials are “feeling very optimistic” that they will meet their goal (Orr, “KXJZ News,” Capital Public Radio, 12/8).

Covered California Focuses Efforts on Hot Spots

Meanwhile, Covered California has unveiled a map of “hot spots” in Los Angeles where the exchange will focus its enrollment efforts, “KPCC News” reports.

Lee discussed the hot spots during a meeting with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) on Tuesday.

To reach uninsured individuals in the exchange’s focus areas, Covered California has:

  • Launched a phone campaign;
  • Opened more storefronts; and
  • Taken part in more media interviews in Spanish and Asian languages.

Meanwhile, exchange officials plan to visit barber shops, hair care salons and small businesses in areas with high numbers of black residents.

Further, Lee said Covered California will send advocates door-to-door to encourage residents to select health plans.

He said, “Many of these communities have lived with a culture of coping, they’ve figured out how to make do without insurance,” adding, “It’s a culture change to move to a culture of coverage” (“KPCC News,” KPCC, 12/8).

Federal Officials Will Not Grant Enrollment Extension

In related news, federal officials said Monday that uninsured U.S. residents who do not enroll in health plans through the ACA’s exchanges during its current open enrollment period will not be granted an extension to do so, the Wall Street Journal reports.

In a blog post Monday, CEO Kevin Counihan wrote, “A special enrollment period around the April 15 tax filing deadline will not be offered this year,” adding that if uninsured individuals do not enroll in health plans by the Jan. 31 open enrollment deadline, they “could have to wait another year to get coverage and may have to pay the fee when [they] file [their] 2016 income taxes” (Radnofsky, Wall Street Journal, 12/7).

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